I recently read the book, Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp. I found it to be one of the most rewarding, challenging and gut-wrenching books I have ever read. It is directed to pastors but applies to anyone who wants to serve God and do ministry. The thrust of the book is a reminder to saturate our lives in the gospel, in a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus, in true Christian faith which includes community, grace and so on. Here is a quote that I hope will invite you to experience and encounter daily for yourself the very best thing you can offer to others: JESUS.
I am more and more convinced that what gives a ministry its motivations, perseverance, humility, joy, tenderness, passion, and grace is the devotional life of the one doing ministry. When I daily admit how needy I am, daily meditate on the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and daily feed on the restorative wisdom of his Word, I am propelled to share with others the grace that I am daily receiving at the hands of my Savior. There simply is no set of exegetical, homiletical, or leadership skills that can compensate for the absence of this in the life of a pastor. It is my worship that enables me to lead others to worship. It is my sense of need that leads me to tenderly pastor those in need of grace. It is my joy in my identity in Christ that leads me to want to help others live in the middle of what it means to be “in Christ.” In fact, one of the things that makes a sermon compelling is that the preacher is worshiping his way through his own sermon. (Dangerous Calling, 35)